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living vicariously…

so we have a tree up.
and the kids decorated it.
and… nothing else.

please tell me that with a few of you i am not alone.
some years you just can’t get that knock-it-out-of-the-park decorating done.
i want to.
but i want to do a million other things too so for now… in this rental house… it’s going on the back burner.
so other more important things can take my physical and emotional energy.
like crafts… we are doing those.
and if you are a crafty person you know that making crafts with kids take ENERGY.

so i was looking at lovely homes on pinterest and found some beauty to live vicariously through their decorating this year.
i also decided it is THE LIGHT that i am drawn in by, not necessarily the colors.
LOTS of natural light is a really big deal to me.

i was really loving this Christmas home tour at cuckoo4design .
i am usually all color and pattern but this one was so lovely!
there is still color and pattern it’s just not IN YOUR FACE.
she looks like a lot of fun!
how cool is that christmas tree?!!!
i LOVE it… i think she said she dressed up the ikea version.
but i haven’t been in an ikea for MONTHS and won’t get to for another many months so i don’t think it’s in my future to be picking one up.
it is so neat!

and that previous post led me over to this one at Finding Home.
the colors!
i think i need a white tree in my life.
i actually saw one a month ago at the thrift store and i left it there.
there is truly no excuse for it.
it is one of those things i will remember forever.
i have lists of things like that which i regret forever not grabbing when i could… the white tree will be one for the record books.

i always love ashley’s style at The Handmade Home.
a yarn covered hula hoop?  awesome.

and then i found Candice’s home featured on Design Mom…
G O R G E O U S.


i love the black.
is black the new white?

then these were all in the top faves too…

source and sourcepretty2
source and sourcepretty3
source and sourcepretty4
source and sourcepretty5
source and source


and then i went to look back at my past posts… and i missed living in the Craft House big time.
well, i do and i don’t.
i really think i miss having the energy and time to do these kinds of things.
it will come back.
i hope it comes back…. my mojo i mean.
either way we can all look at the way i decorated a few years ago and smile.
(and think to ourselves “wow she was really on her game… a few years ago…”  ha ha ha)
























i almost feel inspired to get decorating now.
but… i need a shower.
and i left my phone at the craft house last night when i went there to wrap presents.
and my kitchen looks like it exploded.
so i wil just read this post again and call it good.

but next year….
christmas 2014.
look out!
it’s going to be like buddy the elf the night before santa came to gimbels.
that good.
ha ha ha..



tara - i went super simple this year, and it felt so good and clean….
my mojo has been lost temporarily, too.
all of my kids went to school this year, and it’s JUST NOW hitting me how much of an adjustment it has truly been for me.

you’d think i would have had more energy, but it was the opposite. i completely shut down. for real.

you’re a fun mom…you’re doing a great job….your mojo will come back for certain things, if it’s supposed to. sometimes we lose our mojo in areas because we’re suppose to. 🙂

Lynda Anderson - So inspiring. I love the bulbs in the glass containers. It’s 12/20 and I have lights only on 3/4 of my tree … still have a Halloween table runner in the entry way and haven’t finished shopping! Thank you for this blog and the relaxation and enjoyment it gives me! Merry Christmas!!

Debi - so this year i just let my 16yo daughter and some VISITORS, traveling basketball team girls…not even people I know!, decorate our tree and living room. I am just soooo tired. At least the shopping is done. It doesn’t feel like me at all and the same old tired decorations… but they had fun and … did I mention the shopping is done?

alicia @ la famille - I saw Shanon’s comment about rental houses being mojo suckers…so stinking true. This is my third Christmas in a row in this townhouse we’re renting and it is sooo hard for me. I look at Pinterest and blogs and its almost painful how much I miss that…I feel like I can’t be ME right now. Its hard. I want 2014 to be my Buddy the Elf year too, but I said that last year and never would have thought I’d be right here in the same place this year. Am I depressing you yet? 🙂 I just hope I get my mojo back someday….

tasha roe - I’m so glad you posted this!! SERIOUSLY THRILLED!! I put the old tree up and let the kids have at it and that’s it. I’m usually the one with the house decked out to the hills before thanksgiving. Too many big things going on and i don’t have the energy, and quite frankly it will be covered in drywall dust before it gets put away.
sigh…… Love the pictures and inspiration!
thanks for making me feel normal. 🙂

Jenny Wenzel - I am glad I am the only one who hasn’t had the energy or drive to go all out this year! I keep seeing all these lovely pics of houses all done up looking clean and perfect…kind of gets me down…this was good for me to read!

Jennifer Dawn - Oh thank goodness! I am not the only one. We have a tree. That’s it. LOL! I think I will live vicariously through your post too. Last year I went overboard decorating as early as October. Yes, that’s right…October! My dad had just passed away and I needed something happy and cheerful. I think I was overcompensating. A year later…I just kinda have a case of the bah humbugs. I keep threatening to get the rest of the Christmas stuff out, but like you…there are other things that have come first.

Gretchen P - our tree has been up for 2 weeks, and it just got decorated yesterday. Other than that, we have nothing else done. I don’t even have my son’s stocking out. I’m glad he is almost 14, and knows the true reason for Christmas, so it is not a big deal.

Talia - Thank you for such an honest post! I didn’t put up the tree this year as we won’t be home for Christmas. The rest of the house is decorated but very simply. I just can’t come home to a tree.

flowerpowermomma - relax and enjoy your simpler holiday season. everyone. Christmas is a time for love.

Patty - I know how you feel! I felt that frazzled every year, tree up at the last minute, lots of knick – knackie stuff to put up, all of it with no intention.

Then my daughter went to her first year of college and it was worse because we did so much of it together ; (

Well for her sophomore year, I declared that by the end of Thanksgiving weekend when she went back to school, the tree had to be up, decorated and we had to be done with decorating or we would have to resort to the dreaded fake tree. The Christmas season has been so much better, less rushed, with more creative time together.

Some years the mojo is just not there…. that’s okay. Just go with it and it’ll be better next year ; )

Ali - I am in love with the gumball machine print in your shop. I neeeed it. I also totally think you should add a print of it filled with your vintage ornaments. I would totally buy that too. I love your style!!!

andrea - I also agree about the natural light. That is probably why i love older homes – more and bigger windows. This is also why i love your pictures from the craft house – all the light. (And your great decorating of course!)

andrea - You make me laugh! Yesterday my 11yo daughter said “Momma you do know that Christmas is just the Wednesday after this? And we don’t even have a tree?!?” Ha. I just took the pumpkins off the front porch three days ago. My husband & i just purchased most of our Christmas gifts Friday night online. Still have stocking stuffers to get & take the kids to get theirs for each other. And haven’t baked the first cookie. Sigh. I need to stop writing this down; now i am feeling overwhelmed.

chris - Oh Meg you’re not alone , I have nothing but my porch decorated for Christmas at all as I started a complete family room reno at the beginning of December just a completely new coffered ceiling and ripped out the carpet and installed new detailed pine flooring, no big deal Christmas will wait…what was I thinking. I should put up a tree somewhere shouldn’t I, Tuesday I will that’s my goal anyway.
Glad I found your blog again.

Linda - You are not alone. No tree up yet. But I am loving my family! We actually ate together every night this week. Busy teens you know. The adult kids are gone. Our new normal. I can’t wait for next year either. It’s our turn for Christmas!!

Heather - I found this on Pinterest & I think you’ll need to make this rainbow scarf with your girlies! It’s all finger knitting so it’s pretty easy! 🙂

Linda - I passed up a silver tree once. Always regretted it. It was just a time in my life when I didn’t have another $20 Your home a few years ago is what has inspired my decor. I loved all the jars of Christmas balls. So beautiful and reflective of the light. Which here in the Northwest we need that! SO that’s all I do anymore. lights, christmas balls and a simple nativity. We focus on traditions and family experiences! Merry Christmas!!!

Kristi - I am so with you this year. I just got a little decorating done, only because I had people coming over. I also let my 4 year old single-handedly decorate the tree. (Until her father got home and helped her get the top branches.) I still have a list of things I need to make and then another that I would like to sit down and do with my daughters. Those are top on my to do list right now. I love the inspiration photos that you posted. The ones of yours too! Some of those are on my pin board as well. And I think that there is nothing wrong with living vicariously and letting someone else do the work at times. That way we can focus on the important things, like taking naps! :o)

Jennifer Cole - Meg – I love your honesty and I love this post. Yes, the pictures of the other houses are pretty – but not as pretty as the craft house decorations. The craft house is one of the cutest places I have ever been – even without Christmas. I don’t think your kids will remember if the rent house was perfect or not, but they will remember the time spent with you. And they will appreciate the reasons you moved your life to the rent house. Seasons. We all have seasons. And Buddy was pretty much psycho. Merry Christmas!

Cindy - Spend time with your kids, do fun things. That is what they will remember not how the house was decorated. They grow up & leave home too quickly, then you’ll have more time to decorate. Plus, you will have a lot less “”stuff” to pack up & put away in January!!! Wishing you & your family a Christ filled Merry Christmas!!!

Mommyjulia - Those first few pics are lovely. But my faves are yours! I completely understand not having a lot of decorating done this year. I’m super sicko, pregnant with twins & am not going to do nearly as much this year. But you’re right, there’s always next year (though next year I will have 4, 4 & under to contend with!) Merry Christmas! Love seeing you craft with your girls 🙂

Mindy - Love so many of these pictures – especially the top two. I know a lot of people who have scaled back this year in decor.

Jenn - I hear ya! Just tapped out. Next year, next year will be epic! I think that’s the first time I’ve ever used that word…hah!

Bethany - My tree and an outdoor garden flag were the only Christmas decorations at my house until a few days ago. I had been so busy it just hadn’t gotten done. I’m hosting a holiday craft sale at my house today and tomorrow so I kind of HAD to get some decorating done. Still, I have kept it simple and not spent a lot of time or effort on it and it still looks nice. But whatever I get done, it will have to be good enough because I still have some Christmas shopping to do and a few gifts to sew. 🙂

Beth Ann - My Christmas Decorating mojo is missing this year as well! We moved into a new house and I haven’t even finished decorating it so the thought of putting ‘temporary’ decorations up is just too much for me this year. we have a tree, and some bulbs in bowls and a few trees outside decorated with lights, but that is as far as I have gotten or I am going to worry about. I am *TRYING* really hard to just enjoy the season, but it takes effort for me. I always get so grouchy with all of my ‘To-Do’ lists while my husband and children skip around merrily, completely oblivious to all the effort that I am putting in to create the “magic of the season”. Perfect gifts for teachers, co-workers, friends, family, bus drivers, bosses on stop of snacks & treats for company and friends and parties. Perfect wrapping of gifts, decorating, plate of cookies for Santa. The dang Elf on the Shelf. I am trying not wish the days away and enjoy the magic moments that happen each days with the kiddos. So this year my hands are in the air and anything goes. My father in law arrives tonight from DC and I am not even going to worry about the fact that there are legos all over the floor, dirty floors, clean laundry on the couch waiting to be folded. I am just going to go with it…..

Lisa - People who have the time, energy, money, talent and creativity to decorate so beautifully amaze me! All of these homes are gorgeous. I didn’t have one gift bought until yesterday. I’m right there with you. Feeling so behind, tired and not able to do all I would want. But! I am trying to create some fun family time. Movie nights watching our favorite Christmas movies. Hot chocolate after school. Talking about Jesus… I think each year is different and that’s ok. It’s hard when you feel like you’ve lost your mojo though! Merry Christmas!

Kelly - Every time I pile some of my shiny brites in a container and set it somewhere I think of you. 🙂 Kelly

Kristen Kerwin - Meg – to the woman whom I MOST ADORE AND ADMIRE on the inter webs…regardless of what your mantle looks like this year. You are beautiful because God made you extra shiny. Your home is amazing because it’s a gorgeous reflection of your heart, and your family. Your family is the bomb, because you follow God and you are real and you don’t need to make things extra shiny because you are fabulous exactly the way you are. Life and decorating and crafts (I agree! Exhausting! My 4 blessings just can’t seem to keep the glitter glue on the project! ARGH!) come and go in seasons…but you will remain you, and that is a wonderful person to be. You inspire me and my family (my girls love to see all of the pictures you post – thank you for sharing!), and I am blessed to read your blog…it really adds joy to my days, and I know it’s not easy…so thank you. Merry Christmas, sis…and I will pray for you as I pray for me to embrace the beautiful chaos!!!! 🙂

Angela - Meg, I found one of those ikea trees on ebay so no need to go to the store. 🙂

I always look at all your December posts, I am always so inspired by them. I actually just looked at them yesterday! lol And yes I always think, holy cow, she has 5 kids and did all that!

Tiffany - You are cracking me up.
“either way we can all look at the way i decorated a few years ago and smile. (and think to ourselves “wow she was really on her game… a few years ago…” ha ha ha)” – priceless. Let’s raise our glass and toast to Meg’s Buddy Elf Style Christmas in 2014, Cheers!

the.mrs - Feel better, dear! I don’t even have a tree up. Or ONE SINGLE decoration this year! We just bought our first house, so we have been ridiculously busy with that bad boy. We WILL get one up.. tomorrow.. or the next day… haha. My kids asked if they would still get presents if we didn’t put a tree up! *tear

Cassie - Last Christmas my husband had just finished his last round of chemo and was in remission. I had no energy to decorate, but we were very happy. This year I still don’t want to drag the tubs up from the basement. I have one lovely lighted decoration out and am ok with that. More importantly, I got the Christmas spirit back. I had been majorly bah-humbug this year until last Sunday. We sang Little Drummer Boy at church and “I have no gifts to bring” struck me….what do I have to bring? Immediately I knew…..a better attitude to honor His birth. It’s made all the difference. I don’t feel guilty about not decorating, and I still have time if I want to decorate. Have a Merry Christmas! You have a beautiful home(s) and family and are a blessing to us, your readers!

beth larson - W-O-W those are amazing photos Meg….great decorating and great photography! thanks for sharing~

Katie - Just wanted to say we can’t do it all. This year with having my 5th bundle of joy I chose 3 – 4 things to focus on during this season. When I am tempted to do more I go back and look at my initial list. That has been helpful.

Julia@Cuckoo4Design - Thanks for the shout out! There’s so much inspiration in your post loved seeing all the other photos!

Shannon - Ha. That’s supposed to be super simply, not supper simple.

Shannon - We went supper simply this year too. We had a new roof put on the house yesterday and our family leaves for two weeks in Rwanda on Christmas Day. So this year many of the things I usually do were left undone. One strand of lights around our front door, that was done because of pressure from the kids. No real tree; just our little artificial one and it has about 10 ornaments on it. Two were given to us this year and the rest the kids and I made from paper. I did put up our stocking and hung some ornaments from our lights. It’s amazing how simple it is but how much I still really enjoy it. So much so I’m thinking of purging one both of Christmas stuff at the beginning of the year. I know I’ll be even more motivated after we come back from our trip. I also LOVE seeing Ashley on here. We went to college together and she is as amazing as she sounds on her blog.

Jen - Two thoughts: One: ENJOY this season! Someday when the “Craft House” has run its course and the kids are older, you’ll be so happy for the time you spent doing crafts and helping other ladies to do the same. After all, every “stage” has its pros and cons!

Two: stay away from Pinterest, especially if you’re already feeling inadequate! 🙂 I find I really have to be careful about my blog/pinterest time. It can lead to such discontentment. And I know that’s MY problem-not the fault of the “inter webs”.

Hope you can relax and enjoy this season. After all, Christmas isn’t about the glitter and lights. Jesus came without any of that–and HE saved the world! 🙂 Merry Christmas, Meg!

amy jupin - i feel like this with my whole LIFE.
where the crap is my mojo??
it’s like i WANT to do ALL the things but i DON”T want to do ANY of the things!
i think your mojo and my mojo are off in hawaii or somewhere together having a pina colada!
send help.

Gina - I am in the same boat as you, so here I go to read your post again :).

Amy K. - You are ahead of me!! Our tree is up, no lights, no decorations. Last year we left it all till the last minute, and then it was still all fun & new on Christmas. Hopefully it’ll work that way this year too! ha!

Flower Patch Farmgirl - Rental houses = Mojo suckers.
The BDR darn well killed mine.

Yours is just snoozing, that’s all. It’ll be back.

You NEED to do a rainbow striped tree next year like the picture!
And I’m loving the colorful Christmas tour and Ashley’s stuff.

jen - as always, beautiful.

i also have not been in the decorating spirit. looking at everyone else’s beautiful decorated houses makes me smile and wish i had a crafty bone in my body.

jen - I am so there with you!! tonight i was going to finish decorating and now it’s dinner time, then kids baths, then pick up husband….so…maybe tomorrow night. i just feel like there is so much crap everywhere all the time! anyways i am with you – let’s make a pact to knock it out of the park in 2014 – i’m in!!

Jennifer - No need to feel bad, Meg. I haven’t put up any Christmas decorations this year (besides a 3 foot tree the kids have taken to decorating). That’s what you get when you agree to move the week of Christmas!
And, don’t you just love Ashley’s (Handmade Home)designs?! She is as fabulous in person as she is on her blog. She’d make an awesome Craft Weekend special guest!

christina - Meg, I’m with ya! tree is up and decorated, but the boxes are still out!! and have been out for 3 days now. gotta get on that!

Beth - I’m so thankful for this post. I’ve been feeling so guilty that I’m not more into the whole decorating thing this year. We still don’t have a tree and I don’t think we will be sending out cards for the first time ever. It’s nice to know I’m not alone! Great inspirational pics though! 🙂

Iris - Oh how I love light and beautiful Christmas decorations, but sometimes we can’t do it all and we have to prioritize. For me, this year, that means taking time to really get into the true meaning of this season, crafting with my preschooler (STRESS), doing family activities, watching Christmas movies and just being. That’s it. The tree is up and so are the advent candles, but the rest is packed away. This is the year of a simpler Chistmas and I am loving the memories we are making. Sometimes memories trump the perfectly put together Christmas. Love your honesty.

Kimberly - THANK YOU for not being perfect and for sharing that with us! My house is very simply decorated for Christmas and definitely does not even compare to all the beautiful homes on Pinterest and the blogosphere. But, I have babies at home– they keep me up day & night. They are more important than decorating at this life stage. Think I’ll go take my nap now!

Tracey - oh, I know EXACTLY what you mean. I don’t feel like I have my mojo this year at all. Yesterday I finally took my Halloween wreath off the front door and put up a Christmas one. (Yes, I did say Halloween). I’ve been looking at all those lovely pics too and it makes me want all those beautifully decorated rooms. And I want a white tree too!!! Did you see this one on Pinterest? It is from Treetopia and I have been stalking it!
Oh! And it is 2:30 p.m. here and I am just now headed to the shower! 🙂

Alisa - Oh Meg, my decorations are not what they were a few years ago either. Most are still in the basement. Since I am in Germany, we don’t even have a tree yet – that comes late here – but they are always real & smell fantastic.. Two weeks ago my family was in a very lucky car accident, which could have easily killed my husband and my 2 kids 12 & 9. I am still shaking about it and so glad they are ok – car is gone, but who cares. Christmas means family. Some years we go all out, some not….

Julie - I love the look of a house beautifully decorated for Christmas, but reality strikes when you don’t have a gorgeous mantlepice to decorate, and the rooms in your house aren’t large and spacious. I also find that living in New Zealand and having a summer Christmas, the traditional decorations, wreaths etc don’t suit our lifestyle. Yes we have the tree – full of decoration with stories and meaning to us, I have made a scrappy fabric wreath and I try to gave fresh flowers. It is hard to decorate the outside with lights, when it is not dark until 9pm, by which time you are getting ready for bed so don’t really see them. It is still nice to drool over other people’s decorating and as you said experience it vicariously.

Sabrina - Ah yes! I remember your Christmas house from a few years ago! So inspiring! I’ve had good decorating years and not so good. Last year I spent most of December in the hospital on bed rest waiting for my baby to be born. He came 6 weeks early and we spent Christmas in the NICU… so no decorating that year. This year I have a one year old and a 2.5 year old, and I have energy to only do the basic decorating… maybe next year I’ll decorate more! ha ha we’ll see! 🙂 Merry Christmas!

Jessica R - I agree with you — it’s the natural light! Lots of natural light is a big deal to me too and those pictures look all the better because of their light!

I’m not going all out with Christmas decorating this year either. I think it’s because Christmas comes so soon after Thanksgiving this year; I kind of feel like it’s not worth the effort to put everything up only to take it down 4 weeks later…The tree is up and the mantle is decorated and that’s about it!

Nan - I’ve done nothing. Barely bought a gift. I’m also freaking out because it’s our 25th wedding anniversary on the 23rd and I don’t have any idea for a gift for my husband. New flat-screen tv?! Nothing says love like electronics, right?! Sometimes it’s a little too easy to whip out that plastic and try to make the holiday a happy one. I just don’t have the motivation this year. Bah humbug! Send Buddy the Elf my way, please 😉

Sarah D. - I’m living vicariously this year, too. Like you, our tree is up and decorated and that is as much as is done around here. And it will most likely remain that way for this year while the rest of my Cmas decorations stay in their tubs in my basement.

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